Author Archives: Jess Zafarris

About Jess Zafarris

Jess Zafarris is the Content Strategist of Writer’s Digest and an energetic multimedia journalist with more than 7 years of experience in digital and print publishing, writing and editing. She spends much of her spare time researching curious etymologies and writing about them at Follow her at @jfarrisknight or @uselessety on Twitter.

Spoken Stories

For World Storytelling Day, share the best story you've ever heard or told by word of mouth, or have a fictional character recount their favorite story.

Lucky Day

You're making your way down a cobbled street when a stocky, red-bearded man beckons you into an alley. He reaches into his coat, produces a locket on a long gold chain, and hands it to you. Upon opening the locket, you find a four-leaf clover pressed beneath a small glass pane....

Simile But Different

Pick an item from each column in the chart to create a simile. Use the following starting phrase for your story, making sure to include the simile(s) you’ve created somewhere in the piece. "I (or she/he) took a sip of …"

Thou Mayest

Write a scene or story about a character who has committed a misdeed—a crime or a more minor indiscretion—and must decide whether to face the consequences and make amends for the act, or to conceal or avoid it.

A Book of Chance

Writing Prompt: Go over to your bookshelf, close your eyes, and pick up the first book you touch. Open the book to a random page, read the first full sentence on that page, and use it as the inspiration for a story or scene. Please include the original line at the...

Belated Blume Day

Writing prompt: Take one of these Judy Blume book titles, fill in the blanks, and use it as the premise for a short story or scene. It does not need to relate to the original story in any way.

Going Viral

You have (or a character has) created a computer virus that is capable of spreading to every computer, tablet or smartphone in the world. It takes over the device's screen and displays something else instead—a message, an image, an animation, etc. What does it display, and why?

Handwriting Anatomy

Consider your handwriting, or a character's handwriting. What significance does it have, and what does it say about the type of person you/they are?

Unexpected Inking

You are showering one morning when you notice a tattoo on your body that you're quite sure you don't remember getting. What is it, how did you get it, and what does it mean?